For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. - Psalm 139:13-14


How You Can Be Praying: Part 2

When we first found out about Carter's condition, many people asked how they could be praying for our family. Such has been the case since Carter's passing six weeks ago. However, our requests have changed a bit as we have entered a new phase of this journey.

So, for you prayer people, here's how you can join us in talking to God:
  • Courage to grieve: We are discovering that everyone deals with grief differently, which is okay. However, always having the faith and strength to confront our grief and allow ourselves to feel it fully isn't always easy. Sometimes it's "easier" to just get distracted by something — exercising, dinner, March Madness, and the list goes on. We need the courage and strength to recognize our grief when it comes and to feel it fully.
  • Staying united as a family: In so many ways, God has allowed Ben and me to come together as a couple as we deal with Carter's death. But this doesn't come easily. Daily, we have to make sure we are praying together, talking about what we are thinking/experiencing, and allowing each other to grieve how and when we need to. And let me make this clear: Doing so isn't always easy. Understanding that Ben's grief looks different from mine has been particularly difficult for me to grasp. (I can be pretty thick-headed at times...thank goodness Ben is the very essence of patience.)
  • Grace with others: This request carries over from before Carter passed away and is probably even more needed now. Here's the best way I can think of to pray for this: "Lord, help us to see the hearts of others when they offer support and when they stay silent. Help us to remember this is a difficult situation and no one really knows how to respond. And when the response is awful, may we have abundant grace and love for that person." (By the way, this request is not a back-handed way of trying to get anyone in particular to respond differently. I hope it doesn't come across that way. But, if you're wondering what to say or do in situations like these, let me just offer one small piece of advice: Ask the person. Some people need distance; others need to talk. And the worst thing you can do, probably, is to assume one way or the other. So, just ask: "What is helpful? What do you need?")
  • Incorporating Carter into our daily life: Carter made a huge impact on our hearts and lives. Now, we need to figure out how to keep him and his legacy as a part of our lives while still moving forward. As time moves on, our grief has become somewhat lighter and less constant, which can be both a blessing and a burden. We feel some normalcy, but at the same time feel like Carter is slipping further away from us. Sometimes the intense grief moments make me, in particular, feel closer to Carter. Therefore, the lack of intense emotion makes him feel a little farther away. So, please just pray as we figure all these things out. We aren't trying to rush ourselves, and we don't even have a picture of what that "new normal" will look like. We will (and want to) carry Carter forward with us, but want to do it in a healthy, God-honoring way. 
  • Not being fearful parents: It's so easy to be overprotective with Cohen right now. I think I even feel it a little bit with Ben sometimes, too....that fear of losing him, too. Ben and I both need to put our trust in God with this. However, after losing Carter, the reality of how easily life can be lost is with us daily. So, it's hard not to try to control it. 
Overall, know that our hearts are feeling lighter. We still cry. We still hurt. Certain moments sting worse than others. And I expect this loss will continue to confront us for the rest of our lives. However, we do feel like we are moving forward and are hopeful for the future.

Last week, Cohen and I were able to spend several days at my parents' house while Ben was in Denver, and I think that trip was really healing for me as I was able to spend time with my parents and sisters individually. They were all a huge help with Cohen (which he loved all the attention, like a good firstborn would...), and each one of them were so willing to let me talk about Carter and how I have been doing. Plus, I think they needed to do a little talking of their own. I'm so grateful for them. 

I want to close this post with a verse I recently read (I've been working my way, slowly, through the Psalms). May we all cling to its promise: 
" heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
my body also will rest secure, 
because you will not abandon me to the grave,
nor will you let your Holy One see decay.
You have made known to me the path of life;
you will fill me with joy in your presence,
with eternal pleasures at your right hand."
Psalms 16:9-11 (NIV)


  1. Traci Munday3/18/2011 4:26 PM

    Sara & Ben:

    Thank you for posting an update on how you both are doing. It sometimes is hard to know what to say..but thank you for making it clear one again that it's ok..just to ask. I know that GOD will lead you both in a way to always remember and honor Carter. I will pray for HIS direction in making that happen. Thank you again for your testimony and your story. You both have inspired me and so many others and I continue to share your story and Carter's with so many others and what amazing faith you have. I know that Carter is so proud that you are his parents. My heart still breaks for you and I will continue to pray for you both and your family.

    Love you,
    Traci Munday

  2. Thank you for posting how we can be praying. I hope that you can feel that we are still praying for you. Carter's life made a huge impact on all of us at CWC. I know for many of us there's not a week that goes by that we don't think about him. Your faith, courage, and transparency was and continues to be such a testimony to God's sustaining grace.

  3. I appreciate and admire your transparency so much! I will continue to pray for your family.

  4. I still think of you and pray for you all. The "night away" is still in progress. But I have to admit that I waited to long to bring the casserole that I would just feel better making you a new one. :) Is there a night this week or next that I can bring a fresh dinner to you? Or if Ben is working late some night you and Cohen are more than welcome to join us and the craziness.